Elgar Parishad-Koregaon Bhima case
Elgar Parishad-Koregaon Bhima case

Mumbai: Following the lockdown and continuous spread of the novel coronavirus, the judicial panel which is investigating the Bhima-Koregaon violence on Monday suspended it's hearings, till further notice. The commission has also sought an extension of at least six months to complete the probe.

The two-member panel comprising of former Calcutta HC Chief Justice Jaynarayan Patel and State's Chief Information Commissioner Sumit Mullick, was formed in February 2018 to investigate the violence. It was also asked to give suggestions for the police machinery to follow in future to avoid such incidents.

The panel on Monday wrote a letter to state Chief Secretary Ajoy Mehta informing him of the postponement of all hearings. 

"In view of coronavirus epidemic and complete lockdown, the commission has postponed its proceedings until further notice. As such the commission is unable to submit any report," the letter signed by commission secretary V V Palnitkar said.

It further added, "If extension is given by the state government, the commission intends to examine 40-50 more witnesses, including police, state and prominent politicians. For that purpose, the Commission will require not less than six months."

Notably, the commission had summoned NCP chief Sharad Pawar and was to examine him as a witness. He was ordered to appear before the panel on April 4 in view of his statements, wherein he blamed Manohar Bhide and Milind Ekbote for the violence. 

It would also be not out of place to mention that the government had last month granted a "final extension" to the commission till April 8. It had indicated to scrap the panel after this date.

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